The news story wasn't really an eye-opener ... I've read many novels with similar themes ... but it does irritate the heck outta me when I compare your system with ours. Canada has a two-tiered justice system ... the federal system tries crimes of a higher magnitude than each province ... there are few differences as regards procedure but sentencing can vary from province to province. Typically, judges have a laptop on their bench, open to criminal justice pages not Playboy LOL ... sentencing is researched and follow fairly strict guidelines.
Canadians are constantly whining about the lenience of our system(s) ... calling some prisons "Club Fed" as a reminder of the 'soft' time inmates experience. On the other hand, the Ontario government has f-i-n-a-l-l-y decided to pull down Kingston Penitentiary ... over a hundred and fifty years old, it's a dinosaur of the worst kind.
T'ain't no system perfect, and that's a fact. However, with all due respect, I'd d'ruther be tried in our system than yours but I'd truly rather not to be on the 'wrong side' of the audience partition!